Q&A: Michael McCaul, John Cook vie for U.S. District 10 seat in Republican primary

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Contested races for the March primary election include U.S. representative, District 10. Learn about the two Republican candidates running for District 10 in the primary election on March 6.

Michael McCaul is the incumbent in the race, which also includes several Democratic candidates.

John W. Cook

Hometown: Blakely, Georgia
Experience: Cook has lived in Texas for nearly 40 years, including 2.5 years in District 10. After serving in the U.S. Army and Coast Guard, he retired from the U.S. Postal Service and Anheuser-Busch.
Top priorities: veterans, the economy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

832-722-6281

Why are you running for office in District 10?
Democracy and the bureaucracy up in Washington, [D.C.] is all out of shape. We need some changes, big time. Those adults act like they’re kids on a playground, and it doesn’t make any sense why you want to fight so much. You need to be a Republican, not a wishy-washy [Republican] like some of them are being. Vote your heart. Vote your party. … [Politicians are] getting paid by the government or by the constituents to do a good job. [As a politician,] you work for them; you don’t work for yourself.

What are the biggest challenges for District 10 in the coming years?
Get our veterans back to work. There [are] 575,000 veterans in the state of Texas that are out of jobs. We need to come up with some jobs. We need to come up with a place for our veterans to get off the streets. They have no reasons to be on the streets. They kept our streets free, they gave you freedom [and] they let you have a job. They give you protection, they give you a right to get an education [and] they give you a right to be able to vote. You have a right to live where you want to live, and you have a right to marry who you want to marry, and I think that’s what it’s all about.

What makes you uniquely qualified to represent District 10 to the nation?
Good common sense. I don’t think you have to be a lawyer to run for this. I think if you’ve got good common sense [and] an associate’s degree, that’s OK. I’m not going to brag about it, and I’m not stupid. I’ve been around, I’ve done a whole lot of stuff. I’ve worked many, many jobs and done many, many things, but that’s given me a head’s up on a lot of things in this world. And I think by putting those together and being able to put them forward, I think that I’d be a great candidate.

If elected, what changes might you make to the education system?
My thing is this on education: I think we [set] minimum wage at $10-$11 per hour. But the way you get that $10-$11 is you go and get a high school education, or I really don’t care about you because you’ve got the opportunity. Don’t drop out and think we need to pay you the same amount of money we’re paying somebody else that goes through school and gets an education. We’ve got jobs, and we can’t have these other countries coming over here and taking the jobs away from our kids that are graduating from college or anything else. We don’t need to give up our jobs in the United States. These third-world countries—and these companies that are sending those jobs overseas—we need to look into them and see why they have a problem, because if we start boycotting a few of them, I think they’ll change their minds about jobs and education and everything all together.

If elected, what action would you take to reform health care?
I think that we need to take all the companies in the United States—whether you have two employees or 100,000 employees—take 1 percent of their gross income, put it into a fund and pay for healthcare that way. No senior citizen [and] no veteran—no one—should suffer for health care. We shouldn’t have to die from something because we couldn’t get a shot or a pill. That is wrong in this great United States.

If elected, what efforts do you think would help stimulate job growth across the nation and in District 10?
We’ve got jobs already, but nobody’s going to fill them because you’ve got too many Democrats that don’t want to work. What I want to do is have a call-in center that [has] all our people that have a job in the 10th District to call in, and there’s a disabled veteran or any veteran or anyone—homeless or whatever—that needs a job [or] wants a job. Let’s put them together and have them be able to go out and see if they qualify [for the jobs]. [Employers are] not going to hire everybody they see. You’ve got to clean yourself up, you’ve got to look presentable [and] you’ve got to try to act the part, because nobody [is] going to just hire you because of color, creed or religion. They want somebody that’s going to do their job. Take the first thing you [get], until you find something better. Too many [people] want handouts, and I think that’s got to stop.

Michael McCaul

Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Experience: McCaul is serving his seventh term representing District 10 and is chairman of the Houston Committee on Homeland Security.
Top priorities: Hurricane Harvey recovery, immigration reform, border security

512-494-1882
www.michaelmccaul.com

Why are you running for re-election in District 10?
There is still more to be done to keep Texans and our homeland safe. I am committed to finishing the work I have started in Congress to secure our borders, fix our broken immigration system and end sanctuary cities, as well as keep our country safe from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. It has been an honor and privilege to represent the people of [District] 10, and I go to work every day to fight for their values in Washington, [D.C.]

What are the biggest challenges for District 10 in the coming years?
We continue to have a long road to recovery after Hurricane Harvey struck our state last year. As soon as the disastrous storm hit Texas, I fought tirelessly to secure relief funding and helped to nearly double the federal disaster aid Texas will receive if the Senate passes the bill we passed in the House at the end of last year. There is still more to be done, though, with our recovery efforts to ensure Texas families receive the relief they need. Other major challenges we will continue to face is the impact of illegal immigration. We must secure our borders and strengthen our current laws to restore the rule of law in America.

What makes you uniquely qualified to represent District 10 to the nation?
As a fourth generation Texan, I understand the issues we face here at home and how to work with our local, state and federal officials to find solutions to those problems. I travel the district frequently and love hearing from my constituents about their concerns. I try to incorporate their feedback into every vote I take as a congressman. My staff also keeps me updated each week with the number and content of the phone calls, letters, emails and office visits we receive. This information keeps me well attuned to the needs and wants of my district and helps me to better represent my constituents in Washington.

If re-elected, what changes might you make to the education system?
As a father of five, I am extremely concerned with our nation’s current education system. Our schools possess the power to prepare America’s next great minds; they just need the support and local control necessary to get the job done. If re-elected, I will continue to work to ensure Texas schools, educators and students receive the proper treatment and financial support they deserve. I also believe that when it comes to education, parents know best and should be empowered to make the best choice possible for their individual children. Lastly, I fundamentally believe we must continue to encourage a comprehensive approach in support of [science, technology, engineering and math] education to develop the bright, young minds of America’s future leaders.

If re-elected, what action would you take to reform health care?
Last year, with my help, we reformed our tax code for the first time in 31 years, and within the new law we eliminated one of the most disastrous and burdensome parts of Obamacare—the individual mandate. Now, Americans will no longer be forced by the government to purchase insurance they do not want or need. If re-elected, I will continue to empower the American people to make their own choices instead of allowing unelected bureaucrats in Washington to make decisions for them. We need a market-based, patient-centered approach designed to provide affordable and accessible health care for all Americans.

If re-elected, what efforts do you think would help stimulate job growth across the nation and in District 10?
Our nation’s new tax code, which I helped fight for, will continue to stimulate job growth across the nation and [District] 10. If re-elected, I look forward to continuing to make sure our pro-family, pro-growth tax reform plan impacts all Texas families and businesses across our district. Taxpayers work hard for the money they earn, and they deserve to keep more of it. I am proud of the tax cuts that we passed in 2017 and look forward to watching our economy grow as a result.

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Anna Dembowski
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
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